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Rural Workers (Depwade)

Volume 320: debated on Thursday 18 February 1937

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asked the Minister of Health how many houses have been reconditioned in the area of the Depwade Rural District Council under the Rural Workers Housing Act; how many applications under the same Act have been refused; in how many cases has the assistance been given by way of loan, and how many by grant; what is the biggest grant made; and will he inquire as to the necessity of a £100 grant just given to recondition a cottage on the application of Mr. E. J. Mann?

Up to 31st December, 1936, the latest date for which figures are available, one house had been reconditioned with assistance by way of loan; two houses were in process of being reconditioned on the; promise of a grant of £100 in each case: applications for grant in respect of 12 houses had been refused and applications in respect of three houses were under consideration. Administration of the Acts in accordance with the scheme approved by me is vested in the local authority. I understand the application for the particular grant referred to has been withdrawn.

Has the right hon. Gentleman made an inquiry into the application of Mr. Mann, and is he aware that a grant was made in this case where demolition took place rather than reconditioning? Is he satisfied in this matter?

If the application has been withdrawn, I should not think it necessary for me to take any action, but if the hon. Gentleman thinks it is particularly important, I shall be glad to do what he wants.

Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire whether demolition has taken place, and may I ask, in addition, whether it is wise to give £100 grant in a case like this to people who are rich enough to pay for their own?

I would say, in answer to the last part of the question, that the hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension as to the intention and value of the Act. Under the Act, the full benefit of the period of 20 years goes to the tenant. I am glad to be able to dispel that misconceived idea which is hampering us, so far as this Act is concerned.

Is not the applicant in this case very well able to give the benefit to his tenant without seeking assistance from the State?